Prolific thief sent to prison for nine years

Thomas Cserenyecz, 26
Thomas Cserenyecz, 26

A prolific burglar who admitted 157 offences which included preying on the elderly and vulnerable as a bogus council worker has been jailed for nine years.

Thomas Cserenyecz, 26, of Woodland Vale Road, was originally charged with 11 offences relating to burglary and theft.

But he voluntarily admitted to a further 146 offences saying he wanted to “wipe the slate clean.”

Sentencing Cserenyecz at Lewes Crown Court on Monday, Judge Shani Barnes said some of his crimes “would have remained undetected had he not admitted them.”

The court heard how the offences were committed in Hastings and Brighton and a number of these targeted elderly and vulnerable people in their homes.

He committed a number of thefts across Brighton and Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex between June 2010 and May 2014 that detectives had not yet solved including non-domestic burglaries and shoplifting.

Prosecuting, Amanda Kelly, said Cserenyecz had targeted elderly people in Hastings and Brighton.

He adopted various guises such as a carer, gardener and bathroom fitter in order to enter their homes.

Once he was in their homes, he tricked them into giving him their bank details or stole their wallets.

In one case, a woman in Down Terrace, Hastings, who was targeted on May 14, had £250 was taken from her account, after Csernyecz took her bank details, pretending to be her new carer.

It is estimated he stole at least £32,000 worth of cash and goods in total from homes and businesses in Brighton and Hastings.

Kevin Light, defending, said Cserenyecz developed a drug problem in late 2012 after the death of his grandmother.

“He struggled with her death,” he said. “He estimated he was using £350 worth of heroin a day.

“Against that background these offences took place. He describes himself as hating himself for what he has done.”

Mr Light said the defendant wanted to wipe the slate clean, which is why he admitted to the additional offences.

Sentencing at Lewes Crown Court on Monday, Judge Shani Barnes called Cserenyecz’s actions towards his elderly victims as ‘planned, calculated and callous’.

Taking into account his guilty pleas, and admitting the additional 146 crimes, some of which ‘would have remained undetected had he not admitted them’, she sentenced him to nine years in prison.

He will serve half of his sentence in prison and the rest on licence.

“You are a very young man, I hope you use this time 
wisely,” she said.